Continuing my light hearted serial. Not to be confused with light hearted cereal such as Rice Krispies with their delightful array of snapping, crackling and popping. Although I always thought there was something shady about crackle. I guess it’s because crackle is so moreish. Anyway enough of that.
I hope you enjoy the second installment, in which things happen. Oh yes they do. Sort of. Well, maybe a bit. Enjoy.
THE PATRON : PART 2
The air was stale in the garage. The whole place stank of old engine oil and filthy, rich dreams. It brushed past The Patron in a breeze stirred by a white Ferrari roaring out of the exit. He shook his head a little at that, there was no class in white. Still it purred like a lion as it disappeared around a corner. It sounded like money.
The door to the stairwell behind him shut with a bang. He spun a little with his hand reaching to his pocket. A quirk of a smile as he turned back, before his face was business again. Right on cue one of the dim strip lights began to blink on and off. The light came on just long enough to see his silhouette appear and disappear on the grimy concrete floor. He followed the shadowed outline of a figure with a cane through the flickering illumination to his car. Stopping next to the drivers door he tapped twice with the metal end of his stick. The indicators flashed once before the door popped open.
“Always a pleasure doll,” he said as he lent down to get in.
The rich leather of the seats smothered the stale smell of the garage as he closed the door. That scent was something special, a spice that wrapped you up with a sly wink. It was black inside the car, like night out in the far part of the new territories. You couldn’t get darkness like that here in the cluttered streets and bright lights of Hong Kong island. Not the same kind of darkness anyway. All the darkness in the city was between the people. The city was a darkness of rough necks out for a quick buck and the shady broads that wanted a piece of anything that looked like money worth the risk. He loved it. The city was spice like the smell of his car, but dirtier.
He pulled the door shut, then ran his hand over the smooth cover of the wheel. She was a stunner his little baby. The Wife had feefee, he had the car. He reached over with the cane and placed it in the holder between the seats he’d had built into the interior. Nothing like an Aston for that slick charm and personal touch. The glistening silver liver bird looked on at him questioningly. That boy had seen enough already.
He pulled down the racing strap which clicked into the holder with a snap like a slap across the face, waking you up in the morning. He’d met a couple of tough fellas that day. There were chumps out there that would kill for this. He’d been too close to them on a few occasions. The streets were sometimes rough when doing business. That’s the why of his pea shooter and the trick of his cane. It was a little bit of peace he could bring to the rougher transactions. The city often sang a difficult song on a Saturday night than it did the welcoming melody of the week. The weekend song had an edge to it.
He twisted the cane in its holder. The engine started with a muted roar. Hard to jack a car when you’re looking for a key that isn’t there. It purred like its own kind of lion, a soft hello. Sometimes he just wanted to purr back. A click of the clutch and swift shift on the gear stick. Pressing his foot down he reverses out beneath that flickering light, the silver of his car reflecting in the stuttered attempt to light up the grimy, grey garage. It was grimier where he was going he knew.
Another shift on the gear and he pumped the gas. The roar of his car filled the garage, pushing away the stale pressure of the dim underground and filling the space with noise. The city was out there, ready for a rough night. Hopefully his own night was smooth like a silk stocking falling soft to a marble floor. The Patron was always ready for a rough night, but he wasn’t getting any younger. He took his foot off the brake and pushed his baby forward, up the ramp and out into the night. Beneath him the shining lights of the city stretched out, a glistening metropolis which hid shady ways and shadier dealings. The bright towers watched over the darkness, casting shadows of their own as they stepped into each other’s way. He was about to step in someone’s way just like that. He hoped he came out looking as good. The gleaming car sped off to be lost amidst the half formed darkness of a black city that’s lit through the night. Time to get things done. And behind him in the flickering shadows he’s left behind, two hunched figures stand and move towards the stairwell door, pistols in hand.